La Selva Biological Station (Organization for Tropical Studies)
Perhaps the most visited location in what has been recently described as the Costa Rican Bird Route, La Selva offers fantastic birding and great wildlife observation. The station is surrounded by a great number of habitats including primary rainforest, secondary rainforest, gallery forest, rivers and creeks, disturbed areas and areas in natural regeneration. La Selva has been a pioneer site in Education, Research, Conservation and Eco-tourism in Costa Rica since 1953 and one of the first private protected areas in the country.
Birding in Selva Verde Lodge:
This tropical lodge is found right on the side of the Sarapiquí River and offers very good birding in the gardens and woods the surround the facilities. The forest across the river is also a good area to explore. Common birds in the grounds of Selva Verde include Violaceous Trogon, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Keel-billed Toucan, Collared Aracari, White-necked Puffbird, Snowy Cotinga, Red-throated Ant-Tanager, Northern Barred-Woodcreeper, Ringed Kingfisher, Amazon Kingfisher, Green Kingfisher, Sunbittern, Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Buff-rumped Warbler, and Gray-necked Wood-Rail.
Braulio Carrillo National Park:
With a short drive you can reach Quebrada Gonzalez in Braulio Carrillo National Park. This location offers a different habitat for you to explore as it is found on the foothills of the Central Volcanic Range right before you drop into the Caribbean Lowlands. The type of forest and higher rain averages produce a magnificent mixed of birds including Dull-mantled Antbird, Ocellated Antbird, Black-crowned Antpitta, Spotted Barbtail, White-whiskered Puffbird, Tawny-crested Tanager, Blue-and-Gold Tanager, Emerald Tanager, Rufous-winged Tanager, Ornate Hawk-Eagle. Some other specialties that can occasionally show up in these trails are Laceolated Monklet, Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo, Sharpbill, Rufous-fronted Wood-Quail, Red-fronted Parrolet, Crested Eagle, and Gray-headed Piprites.
Boat trip in the Sarapiquí River:
This slow flowing river offers the chance to see species like Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Sunbittern, Green Kingfisher, Ringed Kingfisher, Amazon Kingfisher, and the interesting Sungrebe which swims along the edge usually covered by the overhanging branches.
La Tirimbina Rainforest:
Birding is quite good in La Tirimbina and it offers good trails in the forest. The hanging bridge across the Sarapiqui River is wonderful, it is the longest in the area and allows you to explore the nearby canopy as well as the rocky river bed and sides. This place is best explore by staying in the Sarapiquis Neotropical Center and a little more basic but also nice the lodging facilities of La Tirimbina. Day visits can be arranged. Birds include Spotted Antbird, Ocellated Antbird, Bicolored Antbird, Chestnut-backed Antbird, Song Wren, White-fronted Nunbird, Rufous Motmot, Bay Wren, Northern Barred Woodcreeper and many more.